Some residents voice safety concerns about Kenner boat launch

Kenner boat launch concerns

KENNER, La. (WVUE) - Some Kenner residents say the playground near the Kenner boat launch is no longer kid-friendly.

They want extra police patrols to deal with excessive noise and trash.

"Don't touch the shirt," Tiffany Rizzo told her three-year-old son at the playground.

Rizzo said she stopped bringing her sons to the playground by the Kenner boat launch because of safety concerns.

“I’ve seen beer cans on the playground where my kids can reach them, I’ve seen people parked right here kind of staring at my kids,” Rizzo said.

Kenner Police say they've gotten 22 calls for service at the boat launch this year.

"A lot of those calls for service were related to disturbance calls, fights out there, some vagrant people that were hanging out there, suspicious persons," Lt. Michael Cunningham said.

He said the number of calls isn’t unusual. Last year, they received 16 calls for service.

“A lot of them are noise complaints. People rent the pavilions out, they have parties, and they bring their speakers out there, and they have parents that have their children at the park and they’ll call it in,” Cunningham said.

While FOX 8 was at boat launch, the Department of Parks and Recreation crews were seen cleaning the area.

“This is a park that’s widely used, and Sunday, particularly, is really really used. So we get out here sometime on a Monday. As you see, the street sweepers out here right now in the parking lot, they’re blowing leaves at the parking lot, and they come here and pick up trash,” Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn said.

Some say, they don't notice a growing problem at the park..

“I’m happy with this park. I mean I come out here as a ride-share driver just waiting for a ride,” Heath Borne said.

Others say they plan to go to other nearby parks until they see a greater police presence at the boat launch.

“We need more patrolling here because we don’t have it, and so people can openly do whatever, because there’s nobody to watch them,” Rizzo said.

"If they see something, call us. Like I said, we have an officer dedicated there. That's his patrol beat. We're going to have extra patrols out in the area, so if you see something, let us know," Cunningham said.

Zahn said he is looking for funding for park rangers to help address these issues.

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